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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Captain Thomas Hardy

A press-gang shows up at Overcombe Mill looking for Bob in order to force him to return to sea for an engagement with the French, but Bob hide from them.  He is not opposed to going back to sea, in actuality wanting a change after becoming bored with life at the mill, but he will not submit to impressment.  Nevertheless, Bob goes to submit himself for service of his own accord, going to meet with Captain Thomas Hardy to confirm he may be a member of his crew.  Bob's impressive knowledge and work ethic wins Captain Hardy over.

Captain Thomas Hardy (1769-1839) was born in Dorset to a tenant-farmer and went to work at sea at age 12 on the HMS Helena.  He fought in the Battle of the Nile, afterwards becoming Admiral Horatio Nelson's flag captain on the Foudroyant and later on the Vanguard.  Nelson was impressed with Hardy's judgment and asked his counsel on many important decisions.  Hardy embarked at Portsmouth in Sept 1805 in prep for the Battle of Trafalgar.  At Portsmouth is where Hardy has Bob meet him.

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